The Matthews family has owned their Bethpage land for nearly a hundred years. It has been peaceful and perfect for their two children and all their pets. They have five cats, two pot bellied pigs, and about 150 cattle.
Up until Thursday they also had four dogs: two German Shepherds and two Terriers. Ryder, Minnie, Poncho and Lefty had been let out in their fenced-in yard. When they started to return, Cindy Matthews knew something was wrong.
"He started shaking, and that's when my husband and son noticed my other dog Ryder outside in convulsions," she said.
According to Matthews the others weren't doing well either.
"Within minutes both of them started to show the symptoms as well," she said. "They was shaking, discomfort, bleeding, panting and convulsions."
Matthews, who's worked with animals all her life for the Nashville Zoo and Humane Society, suspected poisoning.
"I don't believe this was an accidental poisoning," said Matthews. "We did see one or two vehicles down in front of our fence."
Food wrappers were also discovered. The dogs were immediately rushed to an emergency vet.
"We really didn't have a lot of options, and it was truly heartbreaking to have to make the decision we did," said Matthews.
All four animals had to be put down.
"When you lose an animal you realize how much they are a part of every moment that you have," Matthews said. "I still wake up and think I have to let them outside in the morning."
The Matthews filed a police report and took to social media for help. Their story has been shared so far almost one thousand times. They're hoping someone might come forward with information that could lead to an arrest. They're also hoping it makes pet owners aware, so it doesn't happen to anyone else.